Early in biotech development, drug companies can often rely upon government or academic grants. But when moving from preclinical development to clinical trials, the process becomes much more expensive. At this point, the company must determine a source of funding, particularly if it is a young startup without much accumulated capital. A contract research organization (CRO) often provides the solution.
A CRO can be involved in preclinical testing, assay development, animal testing, clinical trial design, drug manufacturing, data analysis and regulatory submissions. In addition, a growing trend shows CROs providing a bridge between biotech startups and venture capital firms or other sources of funding.
The good news is that the various routes to clinical development are generally well known, and therefore expenses can usually be accurately predicted. The bad news is that these routes are expensive, and unknown factors can sometimes complicate the course of biotech development.
Wise startup leaders plan not only for the next stage of development, but for a few stages beyond that, so that the road to a finished product is never blocked by a lack of funding. Early and thorough planning is essential.
How can a contract research organization help a biotech startup fund development?
Technically, CROs were designed to offer assistance in areas such as data packaging and presentation. This helps biotech companies fine-tune their pitches to investors. CROs are also helpful in building relationships through introductions to those investors. But now, many CROs are including funding as one of their direct services.
The relationship between a biotech startup and a CRO can be considered more of a consultative relationship than a strictly contractual one. That might lead startup owners to believe they need massive amounts of capital to work with a well-known CRO, when in reality most CROs prefer to form a relationship earlier on. At that point, strategy can be more finely honed to best assist the startup in focusing preclinical studies, presenting data, and charting a smooth course to fundraising and development.
To learn more about how partnering with a CRO can help guide your product development, contact our office. We can help you analyze all the ways in which this partnership might benefit your organization.